Hydro One is installing smart devices in Muskoka that will help minimize the impact of power outages.

“Power lines pass through difficult terrain including heavily forested areas,” Spokesperson for Hydro One Alex Stewart explains. “By investing in smart switches – which is one version of a smart device – problem areas can be isolated remotely, reducing the number of customers that experience an outage.”

Stewart says seven switches will be installed in Muskoka this year on top of the 39 already in use locally.

Another form of the utility service’s smart devices are senors. They act like GPS devices directing Hydro workers to where the outage is and cutting down the time it usually takes them to travel the problem area to find exactly where the issue is. There are 451 sensors installed in Muskoka, but Stewart says there are no plans to install more in 2021. 

“Safe and reliable power is essential to people’s daily lives, businesses and productivity,” President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and Mayor of Bracebridge Graydon Smith says. “Hydro One’s investments will make a lasting difference in municipalities across the province, especially within rural communities with long power lines and challenging terrain. I look forward to seeing these smart devices in action across Bracebridge and beyond.”

This is part of Hydro One’s grid modernization program that started in 2018. Since then, 2,300 smart devices have been installed with plans to install another 500 this year throughout the regions it serves. Stewart says smart devices currently cover around 10-percent of Hydro One’s service territory. It’s part of the utility company’s $1.9 billion investment into expanding and modernizing its grid.